Administrative Core

The overall goal of the Administrative core is to facilitate research in the Center by providing training, mentoring, and resources for faculty research, including resources for acquisition and application of technologies in the Core Facilities. Our administrative core includes:

Mike Kavanaugh: is Principal Investigator/Director of the COBRE program and has primary responsibility for administering the program and overseeing the direction and development of the Center and its programs and core facilities. Dr. Kavanaugh directs the overall research mission of the Center, and facilitates collaborative research efforts for CSFN investigators within the University of Montana and between its affiliates (Montana State University and McLaughlin Research Institute, as well as emerging collaborations with the University of Washington’s ITHS program). He works with the Financial Officer and Program Coordinator to manage the Center’s finances and with the research core directors to ensure that CSFN investigators have access to the facilities and resources needed to promote their research. He works with the internal steering committee to provide ongoing assessment and evaluation on the progress of the Center and the operation of the core resource facilities. Additionally, he meets and consults regularly with the External Advisory Committee to obtain external review of progress and assure effective collaboration and partnerships between investigators in the Center and among institutions in the state and region.

Jesse Hay: serves as Associate Director of the Neuroscience Center, and works in conjunction with Dr. Kavanaugh to oversee its direction. Dr. Hay assumes primary oversight of the pilot project program, working with the Administrative Core staff to assemble applications, identify external reviewers and distribute proposals to them, collect reviewer comments, and oversee the scoring and award process in conjunction with the Director and External Advisory Board. He acts on behalf of the Director in his absence, and as a member of the Division of Biological Sciences, facilitates interactions with DBS and the College of Arts & Sciences. Dr. Hay serves as a member of Graduate Admissions Committee for the Neuroscience Graduate Program and assists with recruitment activities. Together with Dr. Kavanaugh, he coordinates training opportunities for the Center’s students and postdoctoral research scientists. He also plays an active role in mentoring junior faculty and leads a membrane biology workgroup/journal club.

Kate (Stewart) Pennacchio: has served as the Financial Officer for the Center for over 10 years. Ms. Pennacchio assists the Director in oversight, coordination, and support of the Center’s research efforts.  She works with CSFN investigators on proposal preparation, and provides post-award management and strategic planning for all Center grants and operating accounts.  She also facilitates reporting to federal, state, and private funding agencies, and interfaces with off-campus entities and offices at UM to address a variety of grant administration matters related to management of large Centers.  Ms. Pennacchio holds a master's degree with research in behavioral neuroscience, and has extensive experience in financial planning.